Wartburg - Schaubibliothek

The Wartburg Castle and Luther library

The origins of the Wartburg Castle library date back to 1853, when Carl Alexander became Grand Duke of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach.


New museum library More than 800 pamphlets by Luther and his contemporaries

In 1883, one year after the completion of the Reformation memorial with its painted Luther cycle in the Reformation rooms, the Weimar publisher Adelbert Kühn put out a call to gather together bibles, catechism and works about Luther for Wartburg Castle. This led to the creation of the Luther library, a subsection of the older Wartburg Castle library, whose rapidly growing contents were housed in this room, which was used as a library and reading room.

The Dresden collector and patron Heinrich Klemm significantly sharpened the focus of the collection's profile. One important department, based on existing contents, contained chronicles and treatises on Thuringian history, the other "the literary achievements of the great reformer Dr Martin Luther in their rare original editions". Today, more than 800 pamphlets by Luther and his contemporaries form the core of the library.

From 1889 to 1955, large parts of the Wartburg Castle and Luther library were located in the priceless collections of the Carl Alexander Library in Eisenach's Prediger Church. In 1967, following their return to Wartburg Castle, they became a reference library, located in the three former Reformation rooms next to the Luther Room. The southernmost room now houses the recently established Wartburg Castle museum library, where the contents of the Luther Library are on display to the public while still remaining accessible for academic work.

The Wartburg Castle pamphlets are available for research purposes in digitised format on the central multimedia platform of the Thuringian University and Regional Library in Jena (ThULB).